Kheir hoping to come up smelling of Roses

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  • May 22, 2024
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21 May 2024

Well-known Australian owner Ozzie Kheir will head into Saturday’s Gr.2 The Roses (2000m) at Doomben with a couple of Kiwi-bred fillies he is hoping can feature in the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2200m) next month.

Scarlet Oak was trained in her homeland by Ken and Bev Kelso, for whom she won on debut at Matamata in March. She then transferred to the care of leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller following her sale and she finished runner-up in the Gr.3 James H B Carr Stakes (1400m) in her Australian debut at Randwick before winning her maiden at Newcastle earlier this month.

Kheir bought into Molly Bloom following her Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) run, with the daughter of Ace High having already won the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) for trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott. She struck immediately for her new ownership group in the Gr.2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m) at Te Rapa in February before being freshened for her Queensland campaign.

Molly Bloom has begun her Australian venture in pleasing fashion, finishing runner-up in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m), and Wexford Stables are looking forward to seeing what she can do on Saturday ahead of her Oaks tilt next month.

Kheir has high opinions of both fillies and said Saturday will determine who will be the favoured runner heading into the Oaks.

“Saturday’s race is the best race for both of them at this stage and it will tell us a lot about our Oaks chances,” Kheir told

“Molly Bloom, she is seasoned and is a big, strong girl and she loves her racing, whereas Scarlet Oak, she has done it all in her first prep.

“We’ve thrown her into the deep end and there is not a great deal of her. She’s really just doing it on pure talent and raw ability.

“We have been thinking about whether to put her out, but she won so well last start she’s forced our hand to give her a chance.

“She’s gone from a maiden to a Group race at her next run and then beat the older horses third start pretty convincingly.”

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